The Resistance

Many art rockers have symphonic pretensions, but ittakes gumption to compose a "symphony." Enter Muse: The British trio's fifth album closes with "Exogenesis: Symphony," a three-part suite full of grandiose orchestral swells and lyrical koans like "Why are we? Who are we?" Muse's humongous cresting and tumbling songs have earned them amassive cult following, along with criticism that the band sounds alittle too much like its heroes. (Frontman Matthew Bellamy has a serious Thom Yorke fixation.) Songs like the industrial-flavored "Uprising" prove again that Muse know how to whip up an almighty roar. But the lyrics are pompous doggerel ("Coercive notions re-evolve/A universe istrapped inside a tear"), and they borrow shamelessly from Radiohead and Queen without the former's musical invention or the latter's cheekyswagger. Ultimately, The Resistance is a patchwork of expert clichés that leaves a listener wondering just what the point of Muse is. Why are they? Who are they?

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